The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Satire | Campus Scout | Scout’s guide to courteous cohabitation

Anna Fedczuk

Raccoon extermination had to be the most tedious of all the professions, Campus Scout decided.

There was no other explanation — he had been out of his sweet sweet steam tunnels for too long. A tent pitched under the Illini Union in the old Einstein Bros. was simply not enough for a refined man of wealth and taste like Scout.

They had promised that the little masked critters would be removed within the month, and the only reason Scout did not continue putting up with them was that their beady eyes in the middle of the night gave him flashbacks to his eventful backpacking trip across Wyoming back in 2022. 

Whatever the case, now as he stared up at an actual ceiling for a change, he didn’t care. He could swallow down his furry trauma — he missed his home too much. This supposedly “cozy” apartment on Green Street was anything but.

No thrice-daily violent outbursting of intense heat along the concrete walls. No mystifying tongues of flames were sent straight from Hades himself to provide heat to nearby Gregory. No nothing. 

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Scout was suddenly gripped by a fit of rage and sprinted off his quilt and straight at his oak-tarnished door. He slipped on a misplaced antique biweekly edition of The DI and went flying. He sailed downwards, through the doggy door cut out at the bottom, and straight into the living room.

His roommate, Hollingsworth, shook his head in disapproval.

“You need to take care of yourself better, my son.”

Scout shook his head, rattled. Hollingsworth kept calling him his son, but Hollingsworth wasn’t blue, diminutive and born in the early 1700s, so he figured the man was simply mistaken. 

“You must take up your mantle and prove yourself.”


Scout luckily was saved from continuing this ominous conversation by the arrival of his third roommate through the front door, marked by the sound of the three separate locks being undone. 


Kenny entered with his baseball cap hung low over his eyes, accentuating his slim relaxed frame. 

“How you doin’, Scout? You get a solid writing gig yet?”

Scout shrugged, playing with the frills on the Arabian carpet. 

Kenny’s eyes narrowed. He was dead serious. 

“You got this.”

Scout nodded. 

“I know.”

Kenny continued. 

“Like, you really need to get it. Like, now.”

Kenny pulled the cap lower over his eyes and slipped through his bedroom door without a sound. It was like he was never there.

Hollingsworth stretched lazily on the couch. He muttered to himself in reminiscence.

“Man, I do miss that Kenny guy. Too bad what happened to him.”

Scout nodded, figuring Kenny must’ve just had a long day, and that Hollingsworth had not noticed him enter the place. 

He then noticed the front door had not opened yet. Now, it swung all the way open and Scout’s fourth roommate entered. 

“Harvey! Hey!”

Harvey was the true leader of the living space. He had a sort of magnetic charisma that drove others to fall over forwards for him. Scout looked up at him like a sort of father figure, minus the cerulean visage and extensive collection of vintage British coins. 

Harvey set his wide-brimmed Panama hat on the kitchen table, Hollingsworth scrambling like any good roommate, setting a dinner place for him.

“You missed a spot, Hollingsworth.”

Sweat dripping from his brow, Hollingsworth rubbed the smudge off of the kitchen table with his elbow. Scout simply sat and marveled at Hollingsworth’s kindness.

Harvey stuffed a napkin into his collar as Hollingsworth sprinkled golden truffle over his gourmet baked potato.

“Better shave that truffle faster, kid. You’ve still got eleven months to repay your debt.”

Scout figured the two had maintained that friendly banter for a long time before Scout had moved in — they’d narrowed it down to comedic perfection.

Harvey dug into his dinner, and Hollingsworth politely scampered away as quickly as possible so that his thoroughly blinged roommate could enjoy his meal. 

As Hollingsworth passed on the way to his little nook by the television, Scout heard him say with a cheeky sparkle in his eyes, “Flee, my child! Before your soul befalls the same fate!” 

A loud thumping came from the wall outside Kenny’s room, and Scout figured he was hungry too. Scout grabbed a plate from the cupboard and opened Kenny’s door. He looked around the tight space, but all he could find was a heating unit and a regiment of dust bunnies marching across the concrete floor.

Scout appreciated the hustle, being a gentleman who could fit into tight spaces as well. He pulled out his Tracfone and checked his messages — nothing from Kirby’s Raccoon Removal.

Sighing, Scout looked around his newfound home and friends. There was no place he’d rather be, scrubbing the floors for rent and rappelling down the side of the building instead of using the stairs due to Harvey’s insistence that if he stepped out into the hallway, it’d be “no good” for him. 

However, there was no place like home, and despite his best efforts to live peacefully with his three roommates, Scout couldn’t help but feel that he’d never be truly comfortable. He always had to be some kind of person who wasn’t himself. 

As Harvey finished off his plate, Scout strolled over to the rope and harness fastened to the outside balcony. He waved, but Harvey was licking his plate with such a fervor that he did not notice.

Scout called, “Farewell, Hollingsworth! Farewell, Kenny!”

Harvey waved off-handedly as Hollingsworth shouted his regards from the next room. Kenny must’ve been fast asleep. 

Scout took one last look at the place and put on the harness, making his way down the side of the building. Little trash pandas aside, the steam tunnels were Scout’s home, and no roommate would ever rival his greatest roommate — he, himself and him. 



*Campus Scout writes opinion-based, satirical stories and uses fictional sourcing.*

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About the Contributors
Campus Scout
Campus Scout is The Daily Illini's satirical columnist and is quite the character. Their identity, as per tradition, is kept a secret. Scout is known to make riveting social commentary and uses only the most reliable (fictitious) sources. Scout has been a part of the University for decades, disappearing briefly but returning as a writer in 2021 to cause a ruckus about the things that matter.
Anna Fedczuk
Anna Fedczuk, Graphics Editor
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